Moving into media

Montgomery snags top showbiz banker

NEW YORK – The investment banker who advised billionaire Paul Allen on his investment in DreamWorks, Mike Yagemann, jumped from a top slot at Bear Stearns to Montgomery Securities Monday in the latest sign that Montgomery is intent on building a franchise in entertainment investment banking.

Yagemann, 41, will be the co-head of Montgomery’s media and communications group, along with telecommunications banker Rand Rosenberg, who joined Montgomery last February. Yagemann had been co-head of media banking at Bear with Alan Mnuchin, who remains as sole head of the group at that firm.

In the past year, the San Francisco-based Montgomery, best known for its expertise in technology and new media, has begun to build a profile in entertainment. On the research side it hired John Tinker as entertainment analyst last March. The company, in total, has hired eight bankers and five analysts in the media and telco area and opened a New York office.

The firm’s plan is to use its base in technology and new media to grow in traditional entertainment areas, Yagemann said. “Obviously when you are building something up you focus on your core strengths,” he added.

The firm has a tough job ahead of it given the competition on Wall Street for entertainment-focused clients, the number of investment banks starting entertainment groups and the increasing tendency of entertainment companies to do investment banking work in-house, rather than hiring an outside firm. But Yagemann said good ideas are what matters most to companies.

“Competition has always been tough and the fact of the matter is that for the most part, firms hire bankers, not banks. If you are smart and come with good ideas and have an organization behind you where you are able to execute those ideas, I find most of the media companies to be very open,” Yagemann said.

“Through Rand Rosenberg, we have begun to build a real presence in telecommunications and we need to accomplish the same goal in media. With his years of experience in the media industry, Mike gives us the ability to be a player in this important and growing sector,” said Montgomery chairman Thomas Weisel in a statement.

At Bear, Yagemann’s deals include advising Walt Disney Co. on the sale of KCAL, helping arrange the Planet Hollywood initial public offering and advising Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen on three major investments: DreamWorks, the acquisition of Ticketmaster and investing in American Online.

Yagemann joins Montgomery after seven years at Bear. Before that he was a partner at the L.A. law firm Irell & Manella, practicing entertainment law and intellectual property.

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